When I was trying to decide on a premium theme for my blog, I read that the Genesis Framework was a good theme for SEO. I thought that was great, but what I didn’t know was HOW Genesis helped my SEO.
There are a lot of ways that a Genesis theme helps improve your SEO, but today I just want to focus on how Genesis makes it easier for bloggers to improve their titles and meta descriptions. When you buy a Genesis theme, you are buying much more than a pretty blog design. The Genesis framework adds additional settings to your WordPress dashboard. These settings make it possible for you to improve your SEO without editing a single line of HTML.
Genesis Sitewide SEO Settings
The screenshot below show a page dedicated to your sitewide SEO settings. You can get here by clicking Genesis – Theme Settings. If you want to read tips on how to set up this page I recommend reading: Genesis SEO Settings Guide by Brian Bourn of Bourn Creative
SEO Settings for Pages and Posts
In addition to the sitewide SEO settings page, the Genesis Framework adds SEO settings for each page and post. To see the theme settings, open up a post (or create a new one) and then scroll down past the content box. This is what the SEO Settings look like for my Favicon post. Search engines use the document title and meta descriptions as the default information displayed in their search results. The better the description, the more likely people are to click on your link. This is how the document title and meta descriptions appear in Google:
The document title is what shows up as the blue link in search results and is also the text that shows up in the browser tab. According to MOZ, Google usually displays about 50-60 characters. If you want the whole title to appear in search results, try to keep it below 60 characters. That’s another great feature of the Genesis SEO settings, it counts characters for you.
Document Meta Description
The meta description is the text that shows up underneath the title in search engines result. Most search engines only include two lines of text. Also, the keywords used in the search will be bold in the description. Most search engines display around 160 characters. You’ll notice in my Google search screen shot, that it was cut even shorter because they included the date the post was last updated. When writing your document meta descriptions make sure to write a short yet descriptive sentence about the blog post. Note: search engines can choose to display content other than your Document title and meta description based on what people search. For example, I searched “should I use a jpeg or png file for favicon” and it changed the description to this:
Why can’t I just let my blog post title be the SEO title?
The HTML for your title is displayed in the Body, whereas the HTML for the document title and meta description are displayed in the Head (the Head is information not visually displayed in your browser and the Body is what you see on a web page). If you did not have a Genesis theme, or a SEO plugin, you would have to find the HTML file for each particular post and change the code so that the titles were search engine optimized.
Use the SEO Settings
Just like I mentioned in my post on how to write a WordPress post, make sure you fill out the SEO settings for every post and page! The goal is for these titles and descriptions to have keywords that are related to your post content. Hopefully this will improve your blog being found in search engines. For additional help with writing titles and descriptions read: Review your page titles and snippets by Google